Atlantic: Do We Really Want a Food Cartel?

Do We Really Want a Food Cartel?

Mergers and acquisitions have created food oligopolies that are inefficient, barely regulated, unfair, and even dangerous.

By Eric Schlosser

Millennium Images / Gallery Stock

April 9, 2024

The Federal Trade Commission has just released its long-anticipated report on the major disruptions to America’s grocery-supply chain during the coronavirus pandemic—and it confirmed the worst. According to the report, large grocery companies saw the pandemic as an opportunity. They deliberately wielded their market power amid food shortages, entrenching their dominance and keeping their shelves stocked even as smaller companies had to scramble for goods or simply close up shop. For the big players in the grocery industry—companies such as Walmart—the pandemic was a boon. And profits have continued to climb, along with food prices, even as supply-chain disruptions have vanished. MORE